A Porsche driver wanted in a deadly hit and run was arrested Tuesday evening after a resident grew suspicious of the damaged car left at an Alabaster body shop in Alabama.
Cobb County police charged Mr. Brandon M. Weston, 32, of Smyrna, and his alleged accomplice Ms. Pamela K. Rice, 41, of Marietta, in the fatal collision that killed motorcyclist Mr. Emanuel R. Mitchell on Aug. 20, spokesman Sgt. Dana Pierce said.
Mr. Weston was charged with felony hit and run, felony vehicular homicide, failure to maintain lane, no insurance, failure to register vehicle and tampering with evidence. Ms. Rice was charged with being a party to the crime of hit and run, vehicular homicide and tampering with evidence.
For almost two weeks, police have been searching for the silver Porsche and its driver who struck the 31-year-old and fled, leaving him to die at the scene on I-75.
Their break in the case came when someone at an Alabama body shop grew suspicious of the damaged car and its owner.
It’s unclear what made the person suspicious and police won’t release the person’s identity, but they are thankful the person took action.
“Somebody paid attention to their gut feeling,” Sgt. Pierce said.
“When the person became suspicious, they began to research the internet. After locating several news stories through media outlets in the Atlanta area, the individual contacted the Alabaster Police Department.”
Detectives notified Cobb County police on Monday and within a few hours, they were able to match parts recovered from the crime scene to the damaged Porsche 944 at the Alabaster body shop, Sgt. Pierce said.
The collision happened about 8:30 p.m. near the Windy Hill Road exit ramp in Marietta, Sgt. Pierce has said.
Mr. Mitchell was riding on a black 1990 Kawasaki Vulcan when he was sandwiched between two cars.
A silver car was in the lane to his right and a black 2011 Mazda 3 was in the lane to his left.
“According to witnesses, the driver of the silver vehicle abruptly changed lanes to the left, colliding with the motorcycle,” Sgt. Pierce said. “The driver was ejected from the motorcycle and was struck by the Mazda 3.”
The driver of the silver car took off.
The Mazda’s driver, Ms. Sonni Smith, 23, of Atlanta, was not injured and is not expected to face any charges in the crash.
Investigators said the car should have moderate damage to the left front of the car.
From evidence recovered at the crime scene and with the assistance of the manufacturer, investigators narrowed down the hit and run vehicle to a Porsche 944, Sgt. Pierce said.
Their evidence matched the damage on the 1990 silver Porsche 944 at the body shop.
Investigators began searching for Mr. Weston and Ms. Rice, who police said helped conceal the crime and the identity of the car.
They tracked them to a Smyrna apartment near Oak Dale Drive late Tuesday afternoon, Sgt. Pierce said.
Mr. Weston and Ms. Rice werebeing held without bond at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center.